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Health & Medicine Sleep Apnea High in African American Men: Study

Sleep Apnea High in African American Men: Study

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First Posted: Apr 13, 2013 08:20 AM EDT
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A latest study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine states that obstructive sleep apnea is influenced by race.

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According to the study, obstructive sleep apnea is high in African American men of a certain age range. The study was led by James Rowley, PhD, the study's senior investigator, professor of medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit and Medical Director of the Detroit Receiving Hospital Sleep Disorders Center.

"The results show that in certain age groups, after correcting for other demographic factors, the severity of sleep apnea as measured by the apnea-hypopnea index is higher in African-American males than Caucasian males," Rowley was quoted as saying in Eurekalert.

Based on the results of the multivariate linear regression model, African American men who belong to the age group of less than 40 have a greater apnea-hypopnea index. It is high, with 3.21 breathing pauses per hour of sleep when compared to a white man belonging to the same age group and same BMI.

For those men who belonged to the age grouo 50-59, the African American had high a AHI (apnea-hypopnea index) of 2.79 breathing per hour of sleep. The same was absent in African American and white women.

The study was based on data collected from 512 patients. These patients studied in sleep centers between 1996-1999. For the study it was required that the patients were more than 18 years and should have an AHI of more than 5 pauses per hour of sleep. Along with this, they must have a full night polysomnogram.

In order to track the relation between race and AHI, researchers conducted a statistical analysis. There were nearly 340 African American and 172 Caucasian patients.

The authors don't have a clear explanation for the mechanism that is responsible for the difference in sleep apnea severity.

They predict that it could be the anatomic difference that causes this difference, as it affects the upper airway mechanics and the neurochemical control of breathing.

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